Miami football five best New Year’s Day bowl victories

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 13 (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - APRIL 13 (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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1988 Orange Bowl Miami football 20 Oklahoma 14

The Miami football program lost opportunities in bowl games in January 1986 and 1987 to win a National Championship. Miami capped off an undefeated season in 1987 and earned its second National Title in five years and Jimmy Johnson’s only one.

Miami defeated the Sooners for the third consecutive season by shutting down their Wishbone offense. Oklahoma traveled to Miami as the number one ranked team. The Sooners led the nation averaging 41.1 points per game and allowing 8.5. Oklahoma also led the nation averaging 428.8 rushing yards per game.

Miami held Oklahoma to 255 yards of total offense. The Sooners 179 yards rushing on 53 carries. Oklahoma averaged 6.5 yards per carry during the 1987 season. Miami held Oklahoma to 3.38 yards per carry in the Orange Bowl. Miami finished with only 281 total yards in a battle between the nation’s two best defenses.

Miami got on the board first with a from Steve Walsh to Melvin Bratton 30 yard TD pass on their first drive of the game. Oklahoma tied in in the second quarter and the teams went into halftime tied at seven. A Greg Cox 56-yard field goal and Michael Irvin 23-yard TD reception pass from Walsh gave Miami a 17-7 lead after three.

Another Cox field goal extended the lead to 20-7 in the fourth quarter. Oklahoma had to use a fumblerooski to cut the lead to 20-14. The Miami defense shut down Oklahoma from there. Miami earned its first national championship under Johnson and second in five seasons. Both victories were in the Orange Bowl.